On a Day When I Don’t Know Who I Am

Expectations come through in yellows.
Blaming my medicine, I have strong pulses,
wanting to throw things and what does it feel like
to grip your hair, even short hair, and pull
and pull and pull until it hurts and mechanical
tears are sifting through an ugly landscape?
I believe and I try to know who I am, and I work
to create, never asking about the futility, and then
there are these diligent blasts to my psyche because
I “make the reader work” and that sucks and
the reader doesn’t know what’s real and it’s
“hard to write about mental illness,” so why
don’t I write about the day a woman killed the man
in the basement of a small apartment in Kansas
City, so I can guide my gentle reader along; Oh,
but do you know how deeply I hate myself right
now, and now is when I understand that I am not made
for this world, but tomorrow, I will go to work
and play with numbers and systems and stop
bad guys and for moments I will feel good about
that part of my life until I remember the meaninglessness.
I want all of the emptiness to go away, but it stands
there telling me what a terrible nut I am, and
meanwhile there is this terrible yearning coming
through with screams of terror, wanting to do
something well, and I scream back, Shut up,
Shut up, Shut up; I will kill you myself and leave
you in a basement in Kansas City.

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  1. #1 by Indigo Spider on March 19, 2012 - 10:55 pm

    This is exactly how I feel this evening.

    • #2 by Carl on March 22, 2012 - 9:45 pm

      You know it’s good not to be alone. Thanks for commenting. I appreciate it.

  2. #3 by heikewrites on March 20, 2012 - 3:11 am

    Carl, this is wonderful writing, powerful, intense stuff that comes on easy wings — so well written! i’ve been to that place, many times. we should have a picnic there altogether one day. Marita, you bring a guitar.

    • #4 by Carl on March 22, 2012 - 9:45 pm

      I appreciate your comment. I might bring the bongos!

  3. #5 by yoliworth on March 20, 2012 - 5:09 am

    That was beautiful and I love how you weaved in the Kansas City incident as something distant and then connected it to the speaker’s story.

    • #6 by Carl on March 22, 2012 - 9:46 pm

      Thank you for stopping by and thank you for your comment. I will be sure and visit your blog.

  4. #7 by yoliworth on March 20, 2012 - 5:10 am

    By the way, my link was wrong in the first post. It’s actually yoliworth.wordpress.com if you ever want to step over to my blog. :]

  5. #8 by Carl D'Agostino on March 20, 2012 - 7:41 am

    Knowing or not knowing who we are is not unique. Even on the days I am “normal” I am not the same person I was a week ago and certainly not from a decade ago.

    On a different note I want you to know that I think what you do in your profession is very important. Unfortunately Obama and Holder have not been very diligent in prosecution. The banksters and megacorps have hurt this country more that a hundred Bin Laden’s could ever. I really rage about this. The mtg settlement represents 1/10 of 1 % of all the money they stole ! “But we’ve made progress and have certainly sent a message.” Huh ? What ? The raiding and depletion of pension funds is justifiable homicide in my opinion. I have read the 200 page Patriot Act and seems to me that provides enough particulars to prosecute them. They have conducted economic terrorism and warfare and terrorism against the American people and our entire society. Therefore it seems to me that such is treason and they are international so are enemy combatants as well. This goes far beyond mere criminal conduct. It is good for them that Andrew Jackson is not president. He would drag every one of them out to the edge of town and hang em. This afternoon.

    • #9 by Carl on March 22, 2012 - 9:48 pm

      Carl, thanks for coming by and commenting. I think you know who you are and I think that is a good thing. Andrew Jackson would be a great candidate right now.

  6. #10 by wordsweneversaid on March 20, 2012 - 9:16 am



    I had to think if I need to ‘work’ when I read here Carl.

    I don’t.

    That was my answer.

    My heart knows the same thing yours does…

    (from the female perspective though – dicey place I try not to visit too often)

    I have more to say but – I hate leaving it in public comments unless I am streaking at my own site (which is both penance and prayer most times)

    If you had train near you I would recommend going to the train yard and screaming as loud as you can when they pass by.

    I have found it helps.

    And no one can hear you…

    Sometimes you don’t want them to – or at least I don’t.

    But if you scream here instead?

    I want to be the first one to hear you Carl.

    And the first thing I will say is not ‘shut up’

    It will be – ‘Good – now scream louder!’

    We all need that every once and a while my friend.



    • #11 by Carl on March 22, 2012 - 9:53 pm

      It is so kind of you to comment. You boosted my heart. I think this piece was a momentary scream. I might tone it down a bit! 🙂

  7. #12 by Find an Outlet on March 20, 2012 - 2:42 pm

    Yeah sometimes you make us work. So what, we keep coming back. When I hate life, I think about what it would be like in my tiny world if I weren’t here. It would bring pain to the few who believe in me or need me. We’re not here to change the world, but to try to not make it worse. What you do is hardly meaningless, it’s more like impressive. If we delete ourselves and our small powers to do good, our legacy is nothing but a vacuum that leaks out and affects others in ways we can’t know.

    We are here to help keep each other grounded, why else would we put our feelings out there on a blog. We could easily write our horrors on slips of paper and never release them. I really only want to be with People Who Hurt anyway, what on earth do we have in common with happy well-adjusted bland successful baggage-free facebook-addicted clones?

    I never know the right words to say, but I can listen.

    • #13 by Carl on March 22, 2012 - 9:55 pm

      I’m grateful for your kind words. I’m lucky that you come by. You have helped me to feel a purpose.

  8. #14 by Seabell on March 24, 2012 - 4:13 pm

    Sometimes it is good to express this kind of feelings. Anyway, I am so glad I don’t live in KC!!! 🙂

    • #15 by Carl on April 9, 2012 - 8:17 pm

      We shouldn’t be too literal, should we? 🙂

  9. #16 by siubhan on April 4, 2012 - 8:21 am

    i find i really, really like your “momentary screams,” Carl.

    • #17 by Carl on April 9, 2012 - 8:20 pm

      It is comforting to know that someone is okay with them! Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

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